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Financial spring cleaning

As the days grow longer, Canadians wake up from the cold, dark days of winter with a renewed energy that often finds expression in a burst of spring cleaning. While you’re getting your home ready for summer, begin to financially spring clean as well. You don’t need cleaning agents, mops and brooms for your financial spring cleaning – all you need is a lockable drawer or filing cabinet and a supply of file folders. Your financial filing system should include:

  • Bank statements
  • Investment account statements
  • Insurance policies and statements
  • Tax returns from prior years and supporting information
  • Mortgage and loan agreements and statements
  • Investment purchases and sales confirmations
  • Wills and powers of attorneys (best kept in a fireproof safe

The Canada Revenue Agency suggests that income tax information should be kept for at least six years; however, some of your tax and financial documents should be kept for longer. For example, the evidence to support the cost of an investment property should be retained because it will be needed when reporting the capital gain or loss on the sale of the property.

Your financial spring cleaning should also include organizing your tax information, including: T3, T4, and T5 slips, RRSP receipts, public transit passes, charitable and political receipts, child care and child fitness receipts. If you intend to deduct employment expenses, be sure to keep and organize receipts associated with your automobile, including car loan and interest payments, gas and maintenance expenses (don’t forget car wash receipts) and insurance costs.

While you’re doing your financial spring cleaning, get in touch with your professional advisor who can help keep your financial life on track – not just this spring, but for a lifetime.

Date reviewed: May 1, 2015

This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. (in Québec – a Financial Services Firm), and Investors Group Securities Inc. (in Québec, a firm in Financial Planning) presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments. Contact your own advisor for specific advice about your circumstances. For more information on this topic please contact your Investors Group Consultant.